Gen Con 2014 and Tabletop Deathmatch 2014
Brewin’ USA came to life based on my lifetime dream of starting a brewery. This is a lofty goal for a later date, but I wanted to take the exciting parts of starting a brewery and create an experience for more people to enjoy. At the same time, I was listening to a game design contest podcast that mentioned the 2013 Tabletop Deathmatch by Cards Against Humanity guessed that this would be a great theme for a board game. One week and about 40 hours of work later, I submitted Brewin’ USA.
The Tabletop Deathmatch is a game design competition hosted by Cards Against Humanity and is focused on giving attention to indie game designers and ultimately helping to fund the production of the game.
Tabletop Deathmatch Breakdown:
- 350+ designs entered
- 8 finalists selected
It was a great surprise when I heard that Brewin’ USA was selected as a finalist! At this point, I had no idea what was in store for the next two months. Quickly after hearing the news, the CAH team announced the perks of being a finalist.
- Access and support from talented designers and Illustrators
- Support to attend Gen Con 2014
- First Exposure Playtest Hall
- Exposure to Industry Experts
- Web Series created focusing on each Indie Designer and their project
The benefits of this contest truly kept growing as the contest progressed. I will save the gory details of my experience until the Web Series is posted and contest winner announced and will share the link when that occurs. The Tabletop Deathmatch was and is an extremely innovative addition to the tabletop gaming hobby and I feel very honored to have participated!
When I arrived at Gen Con 2014, I was pretty much on my own schedule trying to balance working out of office with fully engaging into the contest and event. The CAH team did a great job staying in contact throughout the weekend and made a great scheduling decision to push the majority of the contest filming to the Monday and Tuesday after Gen Con. I was able to attend a few speaker events including a panel of Tabletop Deathmatch finalists from 2013, a live podcast, and of course exploring all that Gen Con had to offer. Being my first Gen Con, I was blown at away at the bustle and magnitude of the CON. The CAH team scheduled a few neat events including a happy hour to meet the people involved with the Tabletop Deathmatch and two play tests in the First Exposure Playtest Hall. I left the weekend feeling like I saw maybe 15% of the CON, but tried my best to make the most of the CAH events.
I think the biggest takeaway from the experience was the people. I made some great connections with like-minded people and found out how special the board gaming community really is. It was a pleasure to work with the CAH staff and film crew. I was also very impressed at how down to earth the Industry Expert panelists and judges were. About half way through the filming sessions on Monday / Tuesday, I finally realized that I was having the unique experience of being part of a pseudo Reality TV web series where the producers were doing their very best to make the contestants look their best. How cool is that!
Feel free to reach out in the comments if you have any questions about my experience or submitting your designs to future contests.